Federal report details Indian boarding schools in South Dakota – Argus Leader

Thirty federal Native American boarding schools operated in South Dakota between 1819 and 1969, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Department of the Interior.
The report, the first volume of the “Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report,” details the history that the United States directly targeted Indigenous children “in the pursuit of a policy of cultural assimilation that coincided with Indian territorial dispossession.”
In total, 408 boarding schools across 37 states were operated between 1819 and 1969, according to the report. Over 500 children died at those schools but the report notes that number is expected to increase as further investigation continues.
National story:U.S. identifies over 400 Native American boarding schools, 50 burial sites in report
Story continues below map
Note: Map points do not show exact locations of the boarding schools.
At least 53 burial sites were identified but that number is also expected to increase, according to the report. The specific locations are not public to protect against grave-robbing and vandalism.
Below is the list of boarding schools in South Dakota:
Years operated: 1880-1887
Location: Spring Grove
Other names: Indian School at Iyakaptope; Indian School at Iyakaptapi
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School, Day School
Notes of interest: The school was located on the Sisseton Agency in a 1884 Indian Affairs report and was held in the house of Rev. John B. Renville. There was a documented total of 14 girls at this time.
Years operated: 1898-1909
Location: Chamberlain
Other names: N/A
School type: Nonreservation, Government, Boarding School, Training School
Notes of interest: A year before the school closed, a number of students from Chamberlain transferred to Rapid City. The land and building was sold to the Catholic Church and evolved into the St. Joseph’s Indian School.
More:Poor education, abuse – even death: Feds investigate Indian boarding schools’ decades of failure
Years operated: April 1, 1893-1959
Location: Forest City
Other names: Forest City Boarding School
School Type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: When the school opened, the superintendent of the school John Frazier said that it would expand to accommodate students from the Fort Bennett school. The location of the school was near Gettysburg, SD.
Years operated: 1959-open
Location: Eagle Butte
Other names: Cheyenne River Community School; Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School*
School Type: Reservation, Boarding School, Day School
Notes of interest: Created in 1959 through the combination of the Cheyenne River Boarding School and Eagle Butte Public School, according to a 1996 University of Montana thesis.
More:Overturn of Roe would place even greater hardships on Native American women in South Dakota
Years operated: 1880-1920
Location: Fort Thompson
Other names: Crow Creek Industrial Boarding School; Fort Thompson Community School; Fort Thompson Indian School; Fort Thompson Vocational Day School; Fort
Thompson Vocational Boarding and Day School; Victory No. 8 School District
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School, Industrial School
Notes of interest: The school ran through 1940 under the name Victory.
Years operated: 1872-now
Location: Flandreau
Other names: Flandreau Training; Riggs Institute
School type: Nonreservation, Boarding School, Training School
Notes of interest: The Flandreau Indian School started as the Riggs Institute, a Presbyterian mission school named after Alfred Riggs. It primarily served Santee, Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux children.
More:How South Dakota is trying to address the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis
Years operated: 1880-April 28, 1894
Location: North Stanley
Other names: Cheyenne River Agency Boarding School for Indian Boys
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Originally opened as a boys-only boarding school under the Forest City Agency, it was shut down in 1894 with hopes to reopen. There are various primary records associated with the school through the South Dakota State Historical Society. 
Years operated: 1889-1912
Location: Goodwill
Other names: Goodwill Mission Boarding School; Good-Will Mission School
School type: Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Operated as a Presbyterian Church boarding school under the Sisseton Agency. The Goodwill Mission was established by Wyllys K. Morris as the leader and teacher. The church still stands.
Years operated: 1887-1912
Location: Crow Creek
Other names: Grace Howard Mission Boarding and Day School; Grace Howard Boarding and Day School; Grace School 
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Located on the Crow Creek Reservation, 25 miles northwest of Chamberlain. When the school was abandoned in 1912, the 20 students were transferred to the Crow Creek Boarding School
More:‘Just another drunk Indian’: How 20 years without answers made this South Dakota family part of an invisible crisis
Years operated: Nov. 20, 1893-1911
Location: Little Eagle
Other names: N/A
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Combined the Grand River Day School, Little Eagle Day School and Marmot Day School.
Years operated: 1929-1970s
Location: Mission
Other names: Bishop Hare Industrial School; Bishop Hare Mission Home
School type: Mission, Contract, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Originally served grades 1-10 until the 1930s when it transitioned into a boys home until the 1970s. Ran under the Presbyterian Church under the Rosebud Agency.
Years operated: 1879-1923
Location: Springfield
Other names: Springfield Indian School
School type: Non-reservation, Reservation, Mission, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: The school existed under the Santee Agency in Nebraska even though it was located in South Dakota. The school became an independent boarding school for girls in 1902 when it was previously run by the Episcopal Church up through 1896.
More:South Dakota’s open cold cases include these missing and murdered Indigenous women
Years operated: 1886-1961
Location: Stephan
Other names: Stephan Mission School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: It’s believed that after the immaculate conception mission school closed, it became a government contract boarding school, called Crow Creek Tribal School — locally called Stephan.
Years operated: Spring 1895-now
Location: Lower Brule
Other names: Lower Brule Day School; Lower Brule Schools; Lower Brule Elementary School; Lower Brule Jr. High; Lower Brule High School*
School Type: Government, Boarding School, Day School
Notes of interest: Formerly located 30 miles north of Chamberlain then moved to 30 miles from the old Lower Brule agency location.
Years operated: Jan. 15, 1882-1895
Location: Oacoma
Other names: N/A
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: When it first opened it could accommodate 50 boarders and “nearly as many more day scholars.” It was briefly closed during the 1882-1883 school year but then reopened.
More:‘We just don’t go missing:’ Community gathers to remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Years operated: 1874-1914
Location: Peoria Flats
Other names: Oahe Industrial School; Oahe Indian Mission School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Opened as a boarding school in 1883 with a second boarding school for young girls opening in the 1890s. The mission school served students from Standing Rock, Cheyenne River and Rosebud. English was taught in school and religious and moral instruction was given in Dakota.
Years operated: 1891-now
Location: Pierre
Other names: Pierre Indian School Learning Center; Pierre Indian Learning Center; Pierre Indian Learning Center*
School type: Nonreservation, Government, Boarding School, Day School
Notes of Interest: The initial enrollment was five students. The BIE reexamined the school in 1972 and now it serves children from 15 tribes.
More:What’s next for South Dakota’s Native American boarding schools and repatriation?
Years operated: Dec. 1883-now
Location: Pine Ridge
Other names: Oglala Pine Ridge Boarding School; Oglala Indian Training School; Oglala Community School; Pine Ridge School*
School type: Reservation, Boarding School, Training School
Notes of interest: The boarding school opened with 80 children. The current school was built in 1995.
Years operated: 1895-1902
Location: Plum Creek
Other names: N/A
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Was operated by a religious institution and the government.
Years operated: 1898-now
Location: Rapid City
Other names: Rapid City Indian School and Sanatorium, Rapid City Training, Sioux Sanatorium, Sioux San Hospital* 
School type: Nonreservation, Government, Boarding School, Sanatorium
Notes of interest: The Rapid City Indian School operated between 1898-1933. In 1939, the Sioux Sanitarium was built on site, treating Native Americans with tuberculosis until the 1960s. Efforts were started in 2017 to convey land back to trust for the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands project.
More:Rosebud Sioux tribe welcomes home remains of 9 children who died at Pennsylvania boarding school
Years operated: 1888-now
Location: Pine Ridge
Other names: Holy Rosary Mission; Holy Rosary Mission Boarding School; Holy Rosary Mission School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Originally a Catholic boarding school operated by the Catholic church with resources from the federal government. School is currently open but not as a boarding school.
Years operated: 1895-1951
Location: Mission
Other names: Rosebud Community
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding school, Day school
Notes of interest: Operated as a boarding school and day school throughout the 1900s.
Years operated: Dec. 1873-1920 
Location: Sisseton
Other names: Sisseton Training School; Sisseton Industrial School
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Government boarding school operated under Sisseton agency.
More:‘The children will rest in the quiet’: Rosebud Sioux children taken more than 140 years ago finally come home
Years operated: 1879-1961
Location: Kenel
Other names: Indian Farm School; St. Benedict Mission Farm School; Martin Kenel Boarding School; Standing Rock Agricultural Boarding School; Kenel
School type: Mission School, Boarding School, Farm School
Notes of interest: Ran by Benedictine sisters as part of the St. Benedict Mission under the direction of Abbot Martin Marty and Rev. Martin Kenel.
Years operated: 1886-1967
Location: Wakpala
Other names: St. Elizabeth’s Mission School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: The Smithsonian, National Museum for the American Indian, has a collection of historical and biographical data bout St. Elizabeth’s including its construction as the first Episcopal mission on the Standing Rock Reservation and Rev. Philip J. Deloria, from the Yankton Dakota, who served as minister until 1925. Nearly 60 Lakota students were enrolled in 1902.
Years operated: 1886-now
Location: St. Francis
Other names: St. Francis Indian School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Contracted a boarding school operated by the Catholic Church for various years between 1895-1932.
More:Despite legislative defeat, backers of Native education reform in SD will press forward
Years operated: 1889-1902
Location: North Stanley
Other names: St. John’s William Welsh Memorial School; St. John’s Boarding School; St. John’s Mission
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Exclusively for girls and was owned by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church and maintained in part by the government.
Years operated: 1927-now
Location: Chamberlain
Other names: N/a
School type: Mission, boarding School
Notes of interest: Although there is no information about specific federal funding, a 1929 diary noted that the government doctors came to the school to look at the children and preform multiple surgeries.
More:Rosebud Sioux Tribe Repatriation: Remains of nine children returning home Friday
Years operated: 1895-1932
Location: Springfield
Other names: St. Mary’s Episcopal School for Indian Girls; St. Mary’s Mission Boarding; Ascension Girls Boarding School
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Noted as a government and religious society boarding school and was operated by the Episcopal church.
Years operated: 1893-now
Location: Marty
Other names: St. Paul’s Mission boarding; St. Paul’s Boarding School; Episcopal Mission School; Marty Indian School*
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School, Day School
Notes of interest: Currently operated by the Yankton Sioux Tribe, founded in 1924. Previously it was operated by the Episcopal Church in 1902 and had a Catholic affiliation in 1932.
More:Rosebud Sioux children’s remains turned over from Army cemetery
Years operated: Feb. 1882-1920
Location: Yankton
Other names: Yankton Agency Boarding School
School type: Reservation, Government, Boarding School
Notes of interest: Boarding school through the Yankton agency for the entirety of its operation.
Years operated: 1885-1899
Location: Graceville, Minn.
Other names: Graceville
School type: Contract, Mission, Boarding School
Notes of interest: The school contracted with the federal government to educate Indian girls from Sisseton. The first year there were eight girls and it grew to 25 girls by 1896. The government withdrew its funding the same year and the girls from Sisseton were sent back.
Follow Annie Todd on Twitter @AnnieTodd96. Reach out to her with tips, questions and other community news at [email protected] or give her a call at 605-215-3757.

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